Pure Intention : Slow Living

Slow living is just living slowly, in whatever and however way that means to you. It’s about knowing and passionately loving the things we value, and designing our lives to spend the most time possible enjoying them. It’s about having intentionality and consciousness in our activities, about escaping the mindless scrolling and unproductive multi-tasking and focusing on purposeful action. It’s about embracing the fact that you’re not doing it all – it’s about doing less, but better.” — Kayte Ferris slow-living-101

Today I’m having a hard time. Up until a few hours ago, I was wandering around aimlessly, feeling at loose ends. It is a beautiful day and yet I struggled to get outside for a walk and definitely didn’t have the energy for a ski. You know things are bad when you pick up your laptop and spend the next few hours looking at things that you really don’t need but, could easily be convinced otherwise to purchase. Just one click away from instant gratification and we all know, that feeling, quickly dissipates 😦

Thankfully, I took a break from the world of consumerism and opted to read an article from Le Devoir – January 15, 2023 “Le slow living ou l’art de ralentir ” by Sophie Ginoux. In the article, Ginoux writes about Maxine Morin, a yoga and meditation teacher. Morin has adopted the “slow living” lifestyle principles. She believes it is important to learn to question ourselves in order to determine our priorities, to reconnect with the present moment and to our inner selves. Karine St Germain, a marketing specialist and blogger, reminds the reader that the “slow living ” takeaway is, to go easy on ourselves and, let go of our pursuit of portraying the illusion of perfection.

Suddenly my day shifted and took on purpose. I wanted to learn more about the concept and before I knew it, I’d spent the afternoon researching and reading. It’s quite remarkable how our energy shifts from negative to positive, while we engage in meaningful activity. I was totally lost in thought and loved every minute.

Here are some points that may be of interest to you …

Kyle Kowalski, is the human behind Sloww. He is the ex-marketing executive turned corporate dropout and solopreneur who found and created his life purpose after an existential crisis. Sloww is a synthesis of the world’s wisdom on the art of living for students of life.

Sloww = Synthesizing Lots OWorldly Wisdom

My crisis was the beginning of the end of my glorification of busy and unconscious consumption—and the beginning of my awakening to intentional living” Kyle Kowalski slow-living-101

I’m so glad I didn’t end up buying anything this afternoon !!

Kowalski’s website is a fascinating read. Soooooo much to ponder on. I love it.

So many of his words speak to me :

A state of mind and being; purpose; holistic; wisdom; mindful; well being; balance; ease; organic; living deeply .

I love that he makes reference to “busyness” and that slow living is “fighting back against the status symbol of busyness “

Years ago, I remember laughing with my sister. We would share stories about asking a colleague how they were doing …”oh I’m busy ……very very busy !”

I used to hate being so busy but I honestly saw no way around it. I would have given anything not to be so busy. I had so many to do lists, I never knew where to start !

Busyness and more are the defaults today. That means that it’s ironically perceived as more difficult to live slowly and with less. But, more and more people are learning firsthand that more does not equal better. And, busy does not equal important. Busyness will not be a status symbol forever.slow-living-301

Right ???

So why do people choose to be so busy all of the time ?

Now that I have retired, I hear other retirees say “I don’t know how I ever found time to work ! I’m just so busy all the time.I never stop !”

Here’s what Kowalski discovered :

“A fast approach tends to be a superficial one, but when you slow down you begin to engage more deeply with whatever it is you’re doing. You’re also forced to confront what’s happening inside you – which is one of the reasons why I think we find it so hard to slow down. Speed becomes a form of denial. It’s a way of running away from those more deeper, tangled problems. Instead of focusing on questions like who am I, and what is my role here, it all becomes a superficial to-do list.” — Carl Honoré

There’s that “to do list “again !

Kowalski introduced me to author Shauna Niequist. I read a few experts from her book Present over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living and it was like an excerpt from my life ….no like, no kidding …truly .

Check this out :

Written in Shauna’s warm and vulnerable style, this collection of essays focuses on the most important transformation in her life, and maybe yours too: leaving behind busyness and frantic living and rediscovering the person you were made to be. Present Over Perfect is a hand reaching out, pulling you free from the constant pressure to perform faster, push harder, and produce more, all while maintaining an exhausting image of perfection .

Shauna writes, “A few years ago, I found myself exhausted and isolated, my soul and body sick. I was tired of being tired, burned out on busy. And, it seemed almost everyone I talked with was in the same boat: longing for connection, meaning, depth, but settling for busy.”

“The two sins at play here, I believe, are gluttony and pride—the desire to escape and the desire to prove, respectively. I want to taste and experience absolutely everything, and I want to be perceived as wildly competent. The opposite of gluttony is sobriety, in the widest sense, which is not my strong suit. And the opposite of pride, one might say, is vulnerability—essentially, saying this is who I am … not the sparkly image, not the smoke and mirrors, not the accomplishments or achievements. This is me, with all my limitations, with all my weaknesses.”
Niequist, Shauna. Present Over Perfect (p. 19). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

This is the paragraph that resonates deeply with me and may with some of you as well.

” I’ve always given my best energy to things outside myself, believing that I’d be fine, that I was a workhorse, that I didn’t need special treatment or babying or, heaven help me, self-care. Self-care was for the fragile, the special, the dainty. I was a linebacker, a utility player, a worker bee. I ate on the run, slept in my clothes, worshiped at the altar of my to-do list, ignored the crying out of my body and soul like they were nothing more than the buzz of pesky mosquitoes.”Niequist, Shauna. Present Over Perfect (p. 28). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.

So there you have it peeps.

The day is done and I’m pooped.

I felt compelled to share and hope you have enjoyed !

Have a great evening ,

xo

K

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